Foreign Policy Blogs

The G7 Finance Ministers, plus Some News Updates

New Fund , Agence France-Presse reports G7 calls for investment to fight climate change.  "The United States, Japan and Britain have proposed setting up a multilateral fund involving the World Bank that would administer global aid and investment to help nations fight slash greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming."  This follows on the announcement in January that I reported on here in which Japanese PM Fukuda made a $10 billion commitment and said:  "A carbon-free society can no longer be a mere fantasy."  His finance minister and those from the U.K. and the U.S. had an op-ed in the "Financial Times" last week in which they called for "a fund to ensure the widespread adoption of clean technologies in the developing world."  An eminently practical view is guiding this initiative.  "If energy consumption continues along the current path in developing countries," the ministers wrote, "future development will have a greater impact on our climate. We have no choice but to help developing countries reduce the carbon footprint of development and make their economies climate change resilient." 

Renewable Energy Tax Credits , I wrote on February 7 below about the failure of the Senate to include a vital tax credit program in the economic stimulus bill.  Well it appears that this issue is far from dead on The Hill.  In this story from Reuters, I, for one, am delighted to learn that Nancy Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders want to revive the legislation that would extend the existing credits past the end of this year and, at the same time, rescind the billions of dollars that the oil industry is receiving now, in an era of unprecedented profits for them. The "NY Times" unequivocally endorsed the idea of renewing the credits in this editorial from this past Sunday.  See No Surprises (Unfortunately) , Part Deux from December for more on the tax issue.

Congressional Investigation , Meanwhile, in another part of the House, and further to the story of the investigation I mentioned here early in January, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman has issued subpoenas.  The "L.A. Times" reports here that Waxman "wants the EPA to hand over documents related to its rejection of California's request to impose stricter emission standards."  Henry Waxman is a bulldog, make no mistake.  He's also a hugely smart member of Congress and doesn't go off half cocked.  Oh yeah, and he's a passionate environmentalist. 



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change